Popular Offer Mechanics

Oscar de la Hera Gomez
Two flowers that represent Apple and the Google Play Store. Beneath them sits the text "Popular Offer Mechanics."

Acquiring, retaining and winning back customers in mobile apps is a persistent challenge that all businesses face. To entice customers to pay for a service, subscriptions come with the added benefit of allowing you to give introductory offers, promotional offers or custom offer codes (coupons).

Our research into successful uses of offers out in the market can be broken down into a small set of mechanics that are listed below and augment the value of an app, resulting in a boost in sales.

Introductory Offers

60% of active paid subscriptions started with an introductory offer.

Research demonstrates that 60% of subscriptions started with an introductory offer.

Outside Greater China, Free Trials dominate. If you include greater china, paid trials take up around 20%.

Apps in regions outside greater china all provide free trials, with discounted trials being more popular in Greater China.

Average trial lengths vary from monthly in United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to weekly, Greater China, Japan and Latin America. 3 Day trials are most popular in South East Asia and an EMIEA.

In Apple's Tech Talks on Optimizing Subscriptions for Success: Acquisition Apple shared how the subscription market works along with common free trial period lengths for different app categories and their associated lengths.

Entertainment, Social, Books and Music see 1 month trials. Health and fitness, Productivity, Education and Weather see weekly trials. Photo and Video, Games, Utilities and Businesses see 3 day trials.

Combining Offers

An illustration of a sales transaction with a target.

Combining introductory offers and custom offer codes (coupons) is a tactic that is employed by apps in the industry to extend a customers subscription trial period. These customers will get more free or discounted value, before paying full price.

Promotional Offers

A promotional offer illustration

Promotional offers are recommended to be used for customers who have chosen to leave your service, as a means of winning them back and keeping them on the platform.

You can generate personalized promotional offers for customers using Apple's App Store Server Notifications API.

We recommend that you use the App Store Server Notifications to email a customer after they disable a subscription renewal, or when their subscription expires and provide a link to a promotional offer made just for them encouraging them to return to the service on a free or discounted trial.

Discounted periods

An illustration of an offer.

Through the App Stores you can offer discounted In-App Purchases and Subscriptions for a limited period of time before they return to full price. This can be used as a means to boost sales or offer deals during holidays or events such as Black Friday or Christmas.

Custom Offer Codes (Coupons)

Two coupons.

Custom offer codes are recommended to acquire, retain or win back customers by offering them personalized deals which offer them or their friends and family, discounted or free trials to your service.

You can generate personalized custom offer codes for customers using Apple's App Store Server Notifications API. We recommend that you use the App Store Server Notifications to email a customer after they subscribe to your app and provide a custom offer code inviting their friends and family to join the service on a free trial.

Looking for more information on building e-commerce Apple apps?

Read our business guide to get our latest market and customer research, perspective and recommendations on building Apple e-commerce apps that use In-App Purchases and Subscriptions.

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We are actively looking for feedback on how to improve this resource. Please send us a note to inquiries@delasign.com with any thoughts or feedback you may have.
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